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Local Author, Matthew Jacobson reflects on a recent walk down a South Liverpool promenade

“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out“

A late December amble down the stretching evening promenade led me to the place that binds A to B and initially, for as far I could see, it was just me, the sky and the River Mersey. I could hear high pitched creaks as a faulty fence and ageing prom railing wobbled from the power and weight of the whirling wind. And over the railings, down below, I could see the cold waters edge and protective wall cradling the icy, gallant and gracious river. 

On the walk, as pavements passed me by, I reflected on pretty much everything. My thoughts, feelings and memories were for a time at ease, controlled, confined and defined; but at other times they were seeking a quick exit route with immediate clarification. They zipped through the inner me with a speed and scattergun approach – with every punishing ‘ist’ and every ‘ism’ that came my way, ending with a bruising bumpy landing. A landslide of the mind, unkind with no rewind…

Matthew Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

But as the walk progressed down the prom, the stunning views shone and the blue to grey sky somehow calmed my thoughts, enticing them out of the mind and for once they agreed to leave in an orderly fashion and organised procession. The promenade had somehow helped soften the tension from my heavy shoulders – it had rescued me as mother nature comforted me.

As I walked, I looked across the Mersey and opposite, I could see places I could wave to but had never been to. I couldn’t see faces, statues or sculptures but I could see homes of the beautiful working-class voices. I couldn’t see plush parks or their fountains but buildings, factories, hills and mountains.

Matthew Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

The evening sun clocked off and I turned back for home when I noticed others also packing up to head home. I could hear loving and caring parents shout to their sons and daughters declaring the “ten minutes before we leave“ warning. But children still wanted to run, play, skip and kick footballs as teenagers kicked each other whilst playing football.

Others used the evening as a challenge as joggers passed me by as quickly as life is progressing. Speed walkers talked and laughed, keeping each other company as the steps counter counted their steps towards a daily target; whilst I targeted tea and another biscuit as soon as possible. 

Matthew Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

However, my plans were delayed for a little longer, as before I left the prom, I stopped and turned back to take everything in one last time. I looked up and saw that the night sky was stunning and beautiful – a beaming red and misty background injected light into the grey clouds, and they began to truly blossom. There were wonderful shades of pink and red colour, like a warm blanket of promise. It was a painting I could never paint. It reminded me of a beautiful bed of red roses resting gently within the soft comfy caring clouds. However, as the minutes passed by, black clouds slowly and sadly closed in and covered the red roses until only one solitary small gap and one red rose remained, beaming through the clouds with its pure red soul. 

Otterspool Promenade – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

I blew a kiss to the sweetest red rose and to a much missed loved one who has now gone to live amongst the stars. I whispered “Goodnight, sleep well Mum – I love you “, just before the clouds closed fully. And then there was no more red blanket, no more red beam and no red rose, all that remained was a dark empty sky. 

Eventually, I was rescued by a moonlight that lit up the promenade, creating a plethora of shadows reaching out towards us all, to protect us with love and warmth. As I walked the remaining yards out of the prom, I could see the steady flow and current of the River Mersey and of those around me, living and loving current life. I could feel the history of the city as the history of 2020 played out in front of me. There was traffic in the sky and traffic on the Mersey bringing people, goods and resources to the city – just as the people from the city make good use of resources and the city. And what a city it is…

I then left the prom and headed for home; up the hill and down the pathway, past the fields, homes, flats, dogs and cats. Past people, traffic lights, buses, cars and stars. 

Matthew Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

These streets, avenues, parks and promenades are the main ingredients of a substantial meal that will always taste of home. And they are all yours – forever.

As I turned the corner, window lights sparkled brightly and with Christmas trees standing tall, I could see home in the distance. With keys at the ready, I opened the door, I was ready for tea and a barrel of biscuits.  

Written by Matt JacobsonExplore Liverpool

Messages from Matt

A lifetime of love and thanks to my Northern lifeguard, Mr S Morrissey

Thank you to, Explore Liverpool for all faith and support. A team with a big heart and a heart that truly cares about this city and its people within.

A warm hug and huge thank you to, Michelle Marshall for her support and perfect photographs.

Thank you to, S M PR – R whom I owe copious amounts of gin .

And thank you to you the readers – for all the wonderful feedback. 

I am really humbled by the response to my series “On the streets I Ran” my articles and my interviews – I am forever grateful.

“Merry Xmas” to you all 

stay safe

Love, peace and harmony, 

Matthew Jacobson

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